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Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuits Move Forward

Nearly 6,000 lawsuits against 3M regarding their Bair Hugger Warming Blanket are allowed to move forward, when the Supreme Court denied manufacturer 3M’s request to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit’s decision to reinstate lawsuits against 3M.

By 2015, more than a dozen patients filed lawsuits which were combined into multidistrict litigation. In August 2019, a U.S. District Judge dismissed these cases, but upon appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the decision.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege they developed severe infections from the Bair Hugger warming system following joint replacement operations. The warming system keeps patients warm during surgery by pumping warm air through a hose connected to a blanket. The arguments in these cases argue that the system caused postoperative infection by either creating currents that carry ambient bacteria to the surgical site or by spreading bacteria contained within the system.

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision, the plaintiff’s experts speaking to these issues were incorrectly barred as unreliable. They barred an engineering expert who created a model to demonstrate how bacteria could reach the surgical site through the warming system. They also barred an epidemiologist, infectious disease specialist, and orthopedic surgeon due to too great an analytical gap between their opinions and the information on which they relied.

Langdon & Emission is currently reviewing potential 3M Bair Hugger cases at no cost or obligation to you. If you or someone you love experienced complications after surgery, contact Langdon & Emison at 866-931-2115 or complete an online form.